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food safety

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Here’s what we’re reading and watching today:

Medical Errors: The Columbia Journalism Review lauds the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for publishing Jeremy Kohler’s and Blythe Bernhard’s  account of how difficult it was to investigate a Missouri surgeon who removed the wrong kidney from a patient in 2007.  

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Here’s what we’re reading today:

Fight the Bite: California reports its first human West Nile virus cases of the season, in what appears to be a late start to a mild West Nile season nationally. What’s happening in your community? For some resources and ideas for your coverage, check out this Accidental Wonk post.

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Don’t spit out your fruitcake, but are the ingredients in it safe? A couple of recent federal auditor reports suggest that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration needs to step up its efforts to protect the nation’s food supply in two areas: tracing ingredients through the food supply chain and ensuring that food companies register with the federal agency.

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Each month, the San Francisco public radio station KQED airs an hour-long program called Health Dialogues that delves deeply into such topics as food safety, asthma, swine flu and environmental health.

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Original post on KQED's Bay Area Bites blog. Spinach, alfalfa sprouts, peanut butter, beef...almost weekly, FDA and USDA alerts fill my inbox with notices about food recalls due to Salmonella or E. Coli. How does our food supply get contaminated? And what safeguards exist to ensure that the foods we eat are produced in safe and sanitary conditions?

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When the Peanut Corporation of America recalled thousands of peanut butter products in January for fear they were tainted with salmonella, news organizations all over the country rushed to local stores to find out what where PCA products were being sold. Justina Wang, 25, a recent Northwestern University grad who works at the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, went a step further.

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Justina Wang at the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle tackled a topic that seems to scare most local publications: food safety.

With each food poisoning scare, local reporters cover what's happening at their corner stores. Few examine the root causes. With school board meetings, octuplet moms and a weekender due tomorrow, how could one possibly get to the bottom of our fractured food safety system?

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California's efforts to regulate raw milk dairy products have been controversial, pitting public health advocates against passionate raw food devotees. This story details the aftermath of the first enforcement of new state regulations on raw milk products.

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Foodborne illness refers to any sickness that results from consuming a solid food, milk, water or other beverage, generally because it has been contaminated. The Centers for Disease Control estimated in 1999 that there are 76 million cases of foodborne illness annually in the United States, resulting in 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths. This is the most recent estimate available as of March 2010. The total impact of foodborne illness, however, is likely underestimated because many cases are not reported.

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